EDITORIAL: There’s one thing you can always bank on

There were the usual losers this budget, such as taxpayers, students and the unemployed, however there was one, usually untouched group that stood out.

Picture: Paul Rovere

Picture: Paul Rovere

We’ve probably all used one at some point, begged them for things, and probably had something to curse them about at the same time.

They’ve become known as “The Big Five”, and while they’ve avoided calls for a Royal Commission into the banking sector, they’re being seen as a way for the government to make a quick $1.6billion next year.

The Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank, ANZ and Macquarie will be asked to pay a 0.06 per cent levy from the start of July, with experts quick to predict it will be paid from customers’ and shareholders’ pockets, not the billion dollar profits.

Despite being the most profitable banks in the world, Anna Bligh, chief of the Australian Bankers Association lobby group has warned the banks "will have to make it up somewhere".

It was reported leaked news of the bank levy saw $14billion wiped from the banking sector in just one day.

It shows you just how much money can just come and go on a tip off, while you struggle to find enough coins in your pocket to pay the rent.

Even with overcharging on a huge scale, rigged markets and bad advice and insurance services, they have been looked after like no other industry has.

Then there’s the banker’s bank, the Royal Bank of Australia, our central bank.

“Even countries that did not suffer a banking crisis eight years ago are finding strong growth more elusive than they had hoped,” the Reserve Bank of Australia’s governor and chair said in the bank’s 2016 annual report.

This “banking crisis” saw Australian taxpayers subsidise and bail-out members of “The Big Five”, even if you were not one of their customers. 

Despite these welfare handouts the banks are crying foul, acting is if their role has the importance of the central bank. Central banks, who have the ability to create inflation or deflation at will, have been experimenting with new ways of doing business. Negative interest rates in Europe and Japan and low interest rates in Australia, he admits the “full implications” are “yet to be seen”.

So, while you may not qualify for a loan in their eyes, one thing you can bank on is their profits will keep rolling in.


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